Nov 232010
 
 November 23, 2010  Surveillance

Ponemon has issued a press release about a new survey reported by Andy Greenberg over on Forbes yesterday (a copy of the full survey report is linked from Andy’s coverage). Here’s the Ponemon release:

As outrage over invasive airport security screening grows, a new Ponemon Institute study shows an overwhelming 79 percent of air travelers believe protection of their privacy rights is important. When asked to balance privacy and security when traveling with commercial airlines, however, 61 percent said security is most important, while only 18 percent said personal privacy is most important. And given a choice between a full-body scan or pat-down, 59 percent said they would prefer the scan, 18 would opt for a pat-down, while 23 percent said they were unsure.

The results are from a new independent study by privacy research firm Ponemon Institute, Concerns about New Airport Screening Procedures: U.S. Survey of Airline Passengers. The study, conducted from November 17 through 19, included responses from confidential interviews of 1,315 travelers at 12 major U.S. airports.

  • 79 percent of travelers expressed concern over being subjected to a pat-down, while 69 percent expressed concern over going through a full-body scan;
  • 67 percent of travelers either do not believe or are unsure that the new screening processes are necessary, while 33 percent believe they are necessary to ensure air travel safety; and,
  • 64 percent of travelers are not convinced airport security is doing a good job ensuring traveler safety;

Travelers also seemed more concerned over negative impacts from screening processes, such as exposure to radiation (51 percent vs. 34 percent) or inappropriate groping (49 percent vs. 33 percent) than over privacy implications associated with the screening techniques.

“Based on the results of our study, and in spite of the unfortunate stories that have been reported since the Transportation Security Agency began implementing its new screening techniques, passengers are struggling to balance their desire for privacy with their desire for air travel safety,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “Few people are happy about the screening process, and a majority questions the efficacy and necessity of the process.”

Airports where passengers were interviewed for the study included: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA), Denver International (DEN), Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Newark Liberty International Airport (NWR), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (OHD), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

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